photo cred: @TastesOfLizzyT from our Community Coffee campaign
How Influencer Marketing Can Ramp Up Food Brands
Food and beverage brands, whether for food products, supermarkets, or chefs and restaurants, are within a thriving industry. Most people enjoy food and search for innovative ways to bring more delicious or healthy options in their diets.
The food industry is also a pillar of modern life and a source of social events for people, whether it’s for holidays, important life milestones, or work and friend get-togethers.
From an influencer perspective, a quality content creator can elevate a food brand and bring it to life by stimulating the senses with stunning visuals and short-form video content on online platforms. This is part of the same formula that makes content go viral, especially when you factor in the community and cultural aspects of food and dining.
Influencer Marketing and the Food Industry
Social media moved from interactions with friends to a source of shopping and purchasing inspiration. While social media users spend time keeping up with friends and family, they also follow their favorite brands and use the information to make purchase decisions.
In addition, social media can be used to inspire and shape a lifestyle – and a lot of that is food-related. The food industry is already visual, and a well-developed brand partnership can illuminate the benefits of a food brand and creative cooking. Imagine this from an influencer with thousands or even millions of followers.
Celebrity Food Influencers
Cooking shows are popular on television and chefs have reached a new level of celebrity. With YouTube and its video capabilities, celebrities like Jamie Oliver and Amaury Guichon have built a following to share recipes, creation videos, and favorite products.
Many of the food celebrities on social media are macro-influencers with millions of followers, but you’ll see numerous micro-influencers with niche followings that are extremely loyal and trusting of their recommendations. Both of these types of influencers can recommend food brands and kitchenware to incorporate into their recipes – and their followers listen.
When these influencers are successful, they can create strong brand partnerships and affiliations that can skyrocket both parties to fame.
Pioneers in Food Brand and Influencer Partnerships
Thanks to its international presence, most people in the world are familiar with McDonald’s. The brand isn’t resting on laurels, however. Instead, it’s working on building organic influencer campaigns to boost brand awareness and take the brand to the next level with a target audience.
One of the innovative tactics McDonald’s is using tells the stories behind real McDonald’s customers. This takes the meal from basic sustenance to a shared experience between family members and friends.
User-generated content is a huge help for the famous cookie brand Oreo. The Instagram account features stunning, mouth-watering visuals that incorporate a little pop culture to connect with its audience.
Oreo also uses influencer marketing to bring its product to life. By featuring your product, content creators plan thorough content and short-form video that show the authenticity and nostalgia of the brand, as well as its relationship with customers.
Bringing Authenticity to Brands
Social media influencers bring a lot to brand partnerships, including a level of authenticity that’s nearly impossible to achieve with traditional advertising. Working with real people bring brands closer to being a real human behind the brand and improving public image, taking the edge off the promotional aspect. People are attracted to the content, but it’s not salesy, pushy, or intrusive.
According to research, an Instagram influencer in the food industry can boost engagement rates by 7.38 percent. With just in-house advertising, a brand falls about five times short of that. Influencers also get a lot of likes, comments, and other types of engagement, generating a better return on investment for the marketing campaign.
Types of Food Influencers and Influencer Marketing Trend
Generally known as “foodies,” food influencers fall in a number of categories.
The first is the macro-influencer, like Jamie Oliver. These are usually celebrity chefs or critics that bring a lot of fame and awareness to the table, especially among international audiences. These influencers typically have a million followers or more.
Micro-influencers have smaller followings than macro-influencers and typically have more of a niche, but they can be just as valuable. The audiences are extremely targeted and they have a lot of persuasion and trust with their followers.
There’s also a subset of micro-influencers that include food, but aren’t entirely focused on food. Content creators in travel, entertainment, lifestyle, or beauty may also cross into the foodie area. Consider a travel influencer sharing information about the local cuisine or shopping at a gourmet market.
With any of these influencers, it comes down to budget and audience. Sponsored posts, branded content, brand mentions, and ambassador programs on a social media platform can be effective with the right audience overlap, even if it’s only a small audience. Choosing the right influencer is paramount to a campaign’s success.
If the audience trusts the influencer, a review or testimonial of a product can go a long way in influencing the purchase decision the next time the viewer is shopping for groceries.
Food and Beverage Brand Influencers are Making Their Mark
Influencer marketing for food is among the most valuable assets for the food industry and food brands. Whether macro-influencers and celebrity chefs or micro-influencers in the niche food, travel, or lifestyle industry, food brands of all kinds can partner with influencers and leverage influencer marketing strategy to differentiate themselves and reach new audiences.